Planning, power ministers in reconstituted CCI

Published December 21, 2019
Days before its belated meeting, the president has reconstituted the Council of Common Interests (CCI) by inducting Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar (pictured) and Power Minister Omar Ayub as its members. — AFP/File
Days before its belated meeting, the president has reconstituted the Council of Common Interests (CCI) by inducting Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar (pictured) and Power Minister Omar Ayub as its members. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Days before its belated meeting, the president has reconstituted the Council of Common Interests (CCI) by inducting Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar and Power Minister Omar Ayub as its members.

As such, the ministers for finance, revenue & economic affairs and industries & production have been replaced by the planning and power ministers.

The prime minister has convened a meeting of the CCI on Dec 23 after a gap of more than 13 months, a major constitutional slippage.

In terms of Article 154 (3) of the Constitution, it is mandatory for the council to meet at least once in 90 days. The council’s last meeting was held on Nov 19, 2018.

With the reconstitution of the council on the advice of the prime minister, Sindh now has three members on the eight-member forum which has two members each from Punjab (including the prime minister) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Balochistan chief minister is the only member in the CCI from that province.

PM reviews implementation status of previous decisions of council which will meet on 23rd

The CCI, headed by the prime minister, also comprises the four chief ministers as required under the Cons­titution and three federal ministers.

Besides the chief minister, two other members from Sindh are Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Fehmi­­da Mirza and Asad Umar. Although Asad Umer had become MNA from Islamabad for a second consecutive time, he had spent much of his lifetime in Karachi.

KP’s two members are the chief minister and Omar Ayub Khan.

The CCI was previously reconstituted on Aug 31 last year and comprised the prime minister, four chief ministers and federal ministers for inter-provincial coordination, industries and production and finance. It had four members with Sindh origin. It had held only two meetings in quick succession — on Sept 24 and Nov 19, 2018.

The inter-provincial coordination (IPC) ministry had early this month called a meeting of the CCI on Dec 11. However, it was rescheduled for Dec 23.

A fresh notification issued on Dec 18 said President Arif Alvi had reconstituted the CCI on the advice of the prime minister while exercising his powers under Article 153 of the Constitution.

The CCI under former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had four members from Punjab, whereas his predecessor Nawaz Sharif had two members each from the four provinces in the council.

Article 153(2) of the Constitution empowers the prime minister to nominate three federal ministers to the CCI from time to time without any bar. The council’s composition has a critical significance because its decisions are taken through a majority opinion. Clause 4 of Article 154 states that “the decisions of the Council shall be expressed in terms of the opinion of the majority”.

The CCI, which was formed under the 1973 Constitution to resolve issues between the Centre and the federating units (provinces), actually became effective after the passage of historic 18th Constitution Amendment in 2010 when it was placed under the IPC ministry, instead of the Cabinet Division. Moreover, under the 18th Amendment, it is mandatory for the CCI to meet once in 90 days.

Preparatory meeting

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday presided over a preparatory huddle for the forthcoming 41st meeting of the CCI and reviewed implementation status of various decisions taken during previous meetings of the council.

The upcoming CCI meeting has about eight items on its agenda related to progress review of past three meetings, including implementation status of Kazi committee’s methodology for calculation of net hydel profit, amendment to the petroleum exploration policy 2012, import of LNG (liquefied natural gas), harmonisation of quality standards for provincial food authorities, privatisation of two LNG-based power plants, matter relating to the alarming high population growth rate, 1991 water accord and higher education-related issues.

The meeting will have 14 normal agenda items, besides approval of the CCI annual report for the fiscal year 2016-17.

Federal ministers for law, energy, federal education & professional training, planning and development, privatisation, science & technology, water resources and national health services, the attorney general, deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, chairmen of the Federal Board of Revenue and Higher Education Commission, the provincial chief secretaries and at least a dozen federal secretaries will also attend the meeting.

Published in Dawn, December 21st, 2019

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